NLRG was formed in 1957 to help in the study of birds in the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society area. There are currently 12 active ringers. Species currently being studied include: Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Sand Martin, Twite, Goosander, Oystercatcher and Grey Wagtail. Migration has been studied for 28 years at Heysham. We welcome anyone who wants to observe, help or perhaps wish to become a ringer. Photo: A Heysham-ringed Twite on the Mull of Kintyre (thanks to Eddie Maguire)

Friday, 16 May 2014

Bearded Tits Set a Record

Bearded Tits can have  several broods a year.  We have had newly fledged young in September and as they start  nesting in late March they need a quick turn round after each brood . We ringed a brood of two in one of our reed wigwam nest boxes on 20th April and they fledged on the 24th. Bearded Tits  have a very short fledging period of around 12 days and both parents incubate the eggs and tend the young.
From our colour ringing  we have established that the same pair had laid  the first egg of their second brood on 27th April in the next nest box ca 25 m away from the first. Only 3 days after the young from the first brood had fledged. The female laid 8 eggs and they have just hatched. From previous studies the average time between  the young fledging and the first egg is 9.6 days with the shortest being the present pair.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Two Immagrants from France

Avocets are an increasing breeding species at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve. A colour ringed male has been successfully breeding there for the last three seasons.It was first ringed, presumably as a chick on 20th June 2008 near Nantes in North West France. It was sighted 45 times in this area in  all seasons and was last seen there in 2012 on 25th February. It then appeared at Leighton Moss on 26th March 2012. It was back in France in late September and was sighted eight times over the winter until it returned to Leighton Moss in late March 2013. It again wintered in North West France before returning to Leighton in late March and is now incubating a clutch.

Another colour ringed bird originally ringed on  5 August 2010 has been sighted recently on the Lune estuary.  It was also ringed in the same area  of France as the other bird, It was sighted in this area 29 times over the next three years until the last sighting on March 16 2014. On 14th April it was sighted in North Holland and six days later it was in the Lune  estuary. It is probably to late for it to breed this year. but the similarities with the first bird in timings is striking. these sightings shed some light on the age at which Avocets first  breed and reveals the origin of some of the colonists.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

A good Season for Nest Box Species

Early returns from the groups nest box schemes suggest  a good population of most species with a very early start this year and several nest already have young, whereas last season egg laying was just getting underway.

Great Tits  are present in  good numbers  and far out number Blue Tits in the less mature and more marginal habitats.,whereas Blue Tits are the commonest in the more mature and upland woods.  To date we have 2 Marsh Tits nesting - we had no pairs using the boxes last year, and Nuthatches are also present in larger numbers.

A visit yesterday to my main Pied Flycatcher wood where last year we had 8 occupied boxes revealed 9 nests 3 of which had eggs. This is  10 days earlier for first egg date than in 2013.

Tawny Owls are also doing well with two clutches of 4 and one of 5, they usally have just three. A visit today to the pair with five eggs revealed 3 recently hatched young and two headless Bank Voles. We also ringed a brood of 3 in another nest box and all seemed well fed.